tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC February 27, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
to show young people what careers are out there. tech leaders need to open young eyes to fields like computer science and engineering. faith leaders will need to help our young men develop the values and ethical framework that is the foundation for a good and productive life. so we all have a job to do. and we can do it together. mack and quite, urban and rural, democrat and republican. so often the issues facing boys and young men of color get caught up in long-running ideological arguments about race and class and crime and poverty, the role of government, partisan plux. we've all heard those arguments before. but the urgency of the situation requires us to move past some of those old arguments and focus on
getting something done and focusing on what works. doesn't mean the arguments are unimportant. just means they can't paralyze us. and there's enough good will and enough overlap and agreement that we should be able to go ahead and get some things done. without resolving everything about our history or our future. 20 years ago, congresswoman fredricka wilson started a program in the miami public school system. feel free to stand up. to help young boys at risk of dropping out of school. today it serves thousands of students in dozens of schools. as mayor of new york, mayor bloomberg, michael bloomberg, who's here today, started a young man's initiative for african-american and latino boys because he understood that in
order for america to compete, we need to make it easier for all our young people to do better in the classroom and find a job once they graduate. a bipartisan group of mayors called cities united has made this issue a priority in communities across the country. senator mike lee, a leader of the tea party, has been working with senator dick durbin, a democrat from my home state of illinois, to reduce disparities in our criminal justice system, that the african-american and latino-americans communities are hit especially hard. so i want to thank everybody who's been doing incredible work, many of the people who are here today, including members of congress who, you know, have been focused on this and are moving the needle in their communities and around the country. they understand that giving every young person who's willing to work hard a shot at opportunity should not be a partisan issue.
yes, we need to train our workers, invest in our schools, make college more affordable, and government has a role to play, and yes we need to encourage fathers to stick around and remove the barriers to marriage and talk openly about things like responsibility and faith and community. in the words of dr. king, it is not either/or, it is both/and. and, you know, if i can -- if i can persuade, you know, sharpton and o'reilly to be in the same meeting -- [ laughter ] -- then it means that there are people of good faith who want to get some stuff done, even if we don't agree on everything, and that's our focus. while there may not be much of an appetite in congress for sweeping new programs or major new tisch tifs right now, we all know we can't wait. and so the good news is folks in
the private sector who know how important boosting the achievement of young men of color is to this country, they are ready to step up. today i'm pleased to announce that some of the most forward-looking foundations in america are looking to invest at least $200 million over the next five years on top of the $150 million that they've already invested to test which strategies are working for our kids and expand them in cities across the country. [ applause ] many of these folks have been on the front lines in this fight for a long time. what's more they're joined by business leaders, corporate leaders, entrepreneurs who are stepping forward to support this effort as well. and my administration is going to do its part. today after my remarks i'm going
to pen this presidential memorandum directing the federal government not to spend more money but to do things smarter to determine what we can do, determine what we can do to improve odds for boys and young men of color and making sure our agencies are working more effectively with each other, those businesses, philanthropies and local businesses to implement proven solutions. and part of what makes this initiative so promising is that we actually know what works and we know when it works. what do i mean by that? over the years we've identified key moments in the life of a boy or a young man of color that will more often than not determine whether he succeeds or falls through the cracks. we know the data. we know the statistics. and if we can focus on those key moment moments, those life-changing moments in their lives, you can
have a big impact, you can boost the odds for more of our kids. first of all, we know that during the first three years of life a child born into a low-income family hears 30 million fewer words than a child born into a well-off family. and everybody knows babies are sponges. they just soak that up. a 30 million-word deficit is hard to make up. and if a black or latino kid isn't ready for kindergarten, he'd half as likely to finish middle school with strong academic and social skills. so by giving more of our kids access to high-quality early education and by helping parents get the tools they need to help their children succeed, we can give more kids a shot at the career they're capable of and a life that will make us all better off nap's point number one right at the beginning.
point number two, if a child can't read well by the time he's in third grade he's four times less likely to graduate from high school by age 19 than one who can. and if he happens to be poor, he's six times less likely to graduate. so by boosting reading levels we can help more of our kids make the grade. keep on advancing. reach that day so many parents dream of until it comes close and then you start tearing up and that's when they're walking across the stage holding that high school diploma. number three, we know that latino kids are almost twice as likely as wit kids to be spended from school. black kids are nearly four times as likely. and if a student has been suspended even once by the time they are in ninth grade they are twice as likely to drop out. that's why my administration has been working on so-called
alternatives to the zero-tolerance guidelines not because teachers or administrators or fellow students should have to put up with bad behavior but because there are ways to modify bad behavior that lead to good behavior. as opposed to bad behavior out of school. we can make classes good places for learning for everybody without jeopardizing a child's future. and by building on that work, we can keep more young men in the classroom, learning, growing, gaining the skills they need to succeed. four, we know that students of color are far more likely than their white classmates to find themselves in trouble with the law. if a student gels arrested, he's almost as kwikly to drop out of school. by making sure our criminal justice system doesn't just
function as a pipeline for underfunded schools to overcrowded jails, we can help young men of color stay out of prison, stay out of jail. and that means then they're more likely to be employable and to invest in their own families. and to paz on a legacy of love and hope. and young men of color are twice as likely to be diskeblgted in school. we have to reconnect them, give more of these young men access to mentors, continue to encourage responsible fatherhood, provide more pathways to apply to college or find a job. we can keep them from falling through the cracks and help them lay a foundation for a career and a family and a better life. in the discussion before we came in, general powell talked about the fact that there are going to be some kids who just don't have a family at home that is functional no matter how hard we
try. but just an adult, any adult who's paying attention can make a difference. any adult who cares can make a difference. magic was talking about being in a school in chicago and rather than going to the school he brought the school to the company, allstate, that was doing the work, and suddenly just that one conversation meant these young men saw something different. a world opened up for them. it doesn't take that much, but it takes more than we're doing now. and that's what my brother's keep is all about, helping more of our younger people to stay on track, providing the support they need to think more about their future, building on what works when it works in those critical life-changing moments.
and when i say, by the way, building on what works, it means looking at the actual evidence of what works. there are a lot of programs out there that sound good, are well intentioned, well inspired, but they're not actually having an impact. we don't have enough money or time or resources to to invest in things that don't work, so we have to be pretty hardheaded about saying if something's not working let's stop doing it. let's do things that work. we shouldn't care whether it was a democratic program or republican program or a faith-based program or -- if it works, we should support it. if it doesn't, we shouldn't. and all the time recognizing that my neighbor's child is my child, that each of us has an obligation to give every child the same chance this country gave so many of us. so in closing, let me just say this. none of this is going to be easy. this is not a one-year
proposition. it's not a two-year proposition. it's going to take time. we're dealing with complicated issues that run deep in our history, run deep in our society, and are entrenched in our minds. and addressing these issues will have to be a two-way bargain because no matter how much the community chips in, it's ultimately going to be up to these young men and all the young men out there to step up and seize responsibility for their own lives. and that's why i want to close by speaking directly to the young men who are here today and all the boys and young men who are watching at home. part of my message, part of our message in this initiative is no
excuses. government and private sector and faith communities have a responsibility to help you provide the tools you need, help you knock down some of the barriers that you experience. that's what we're here for. but you've got responsibilities too. and i know you can meet the challenge, many of you already are, if you make the effort. it may be hard, but you will have to reject the cynicism that says the circumstances of your birth or society's lingering injustices necessarily define you and your future. it will take courage but you will have to tune out the naysayers who say the deck is stacked against you, you might as well just give up or set sbool the stereotype. it's not going to happen
overnight, but you're going to have to set goals and you're going to have to work for those goals. nothing will be given to you. the world is tough out there and there's a lot of competition for jobs and college positions. everybody has to work hard. but i know you guys can succeed. we are young men here starting to make those good choices because somebody stepped in and gave them a sense of how they might go about it. and i know it can work because of men like maurice owens, who's here today. i want to tell mo's story real quick. when he was 4 years old he moved with his mom, she vet, from south carolina to the bronx. his mom didn't have a lot of money and they lived in a tough neighborhood. crime was high. a lot of young men ended up in jail or worse. but she knew the importance of
education. so she got mo into the best elementary school that she could find. and every morning she put him on a bus, every night she welcomed him when he came home. she took the initiative, eventually found a sponsorship program that allowed mo to attend a good high school, and while many of his friends got into trouble, some of it pretty serious, mo just kept getting on the bus and kept on working hard and reefing for something better. and he had some adults in his life that were willing to give him advice and help him along the way. he ended up going to college and he ended up serve his country in the air force. and today mo works in the white house just two doors down from the oval office as the special assistant to my chief of staff. [ applause ]
and mo never misses a chance to tell kids who grew up just like he did that if he can make it they can too. mo and his mom are here today, so i want to thank them both. stand up, mo, and shaw off your mom there. good job, mo. so mo didn't make excuses. his mom had high expectations. america needs more citizens like mo, more young men like christian.
bewill beat the odds. we need to give every child the chance to reach their potential because if we do, if we help these youngerful young men become better husbands and fathers, well-educated, hardworking, good citizens than not only will they contribute to the growth and prosperity of this country, but they will pass on those lessons onto their children, onto their grandchildren, will start a different cycle. and this country will be richer and stronger for it for generations to come. so let's get going. thank you. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. >> that was president obama announcing the my brother's keeper task force, an effort to bring together private businesses, nonprofits and local governments to bring together young men. political and cultural leaders including poul poul, magic johnson, rahm emanuel and
michael bloomberg were on hand to launch the effort which aims to invest $200 million over the next five years in programs that address literacy, nutrition, youth violence, parental involvement, and mentorship. that's all in an effort to help these young men stay in school and get good jobs and achieve what the white house terms their full potential. in a remarkable moment of can r candor, the president discussed his own past and troubled youth. >> when i was their age, i was a lot like them. i didn't have a dad in the house. and i was angry about it even though i didn't necessarily realize it at the time. i made bad choices. i got high without always thinking tact harm it could do. i didn't always take school as serious i li as i should have. because i could see myself in these young men. and the only difference is that i grew up in an environment that was a little bit more forgiving. so when i made a mistake the
consequences were not as severe. >> joining us now is the host of "the reid report," my friend and colleague joy reid. "i got high." those words will be discussed a lot. we are 22 years after bill clinton said i did not inhale on the campaign trail. of course this isn't a discussion about drugs as it is so much a discussion about the president, his candor, his ownership of his own history, and fundamentally question of race and how the president is i think almost opening a new chapter, one that beegan with trayvon martin, a new chamter about his own cultural heritage and who he wants to be in his last three years of his presidency. what did you make of that? >> i don't think we've ever seen this much of the interior life of any president of the united states as we've seen with this president both because of the autobiography he wrote where he really dug into his own growing up, his own attitudes toward race, very candid about drug use, and then as his presidency
is going, this isn't a look back after he's already not president. this is as his presidency goes. we are looking into the interior life of president obama. so it's fascinating from that standpoint. and as different from the first term he really wants to get in and own these issues of race and identity. he wants to and says he identifies with whose boys xwroup get the feeling this is sort of post policy. we were kind of talking about it while we were listening. he's not talking about there were things i want congress to do. he's saying i want to leave an imprint on you before i leave this office. he's into it. this is something he deeply seems to believe and is determined to get done before he's out of office. >> the president made a point of noting our own rev al sharpton was in the audience alongside bill o'reilly. he said if i can get these two guys in a room to talk about something, and there is the reverend as we speak, or there he was, you know -- there's bill o'reilly, not to be confused with the reverend al sharpton.
but that there is bipartisan agreement on this. and yet the issue of race and how to talk about the predicament young minority men find themselves in is a did i feel conversation. you and i were talking, be honest, during the president's speech about some of the things he was saying. and one of the sort of bedrocks that he was -- kept going back to is this idea black men should not get caught up in the fact they are young black men and effectively that they must accede the soft bigotry of low expectations and almost sort of make a mental note or have the mental discipline to put race aside as an issue and focus on schoolwork, on partnership, on fatherhood and sort of not worry about what the rest of society thinks. talk to me about why that is a controversial thing. >> yeah. it's controversial, and it exmains why bill to o'reilly can
get with this message because it's conservative. you acknowledge the impediments of race and put them aside in your own behavior and actions. he said something about the most important is for a young man to have an active father. but but you may not have one. i didn't have one. so it's your responsibility, even if there is racism that we acknowledge, there are racial disparities that he has acknowledg acknowledged, you have to note it and move on, what you call the respectability politics, and it drives a lot of his african-american supporters crazy. it drives a lot of people crazy. you read these columns from the atlantic and other young black men who say, listen, we understand that we're responsible to do the right thing. most african-american men, by the way, are doing the right thing. it is sort of a misnomer that they're all out there in the streets not taking care of their kids. so why are you focusing on that and not focusing on structural racism? it does drive a lot of his supporters up the wall, but he believes it. the reason you can have a bill o'reilly and reverend al sharpton agreeing on this is
this is the old-time message you got in church. if you grew up in the black church, this is what you heard. at the same time, this is what the conservatives are say bug they say it as a substitute for dealing with systemic racism, as a substitute for talking act race. this is a president trying to do both. he's got sharpton saying we need to ak naj structural racism and the conservative o'reilly messages that you have to get beyond it. >> you think of the politics out there part of structural racism, voting rights, incarceration rates that disproportionately affect young men of color. the timing on this. >> yeah. >> i think it is a very good thing that the president is talking about this. i think it is hugely important for our first black president so talk to america about race. it's a good thing to have this discussion. but one wonders why wasn't my brother's keeper an initiative that was launched in 2009? >> i think the cynical way to look at it is this is a
president that was always making sure he had the broadest possible base and was inoffensive on race in the first term, especially after that comment about henry louis gates getting arrested. this violent reaction from people in the right. this is a guy who can look at his history as a compromiser. you know, the guys getting re-elected, be frank, the idea was not to polarize, not to talk about race, to be unoffensive and unpolarizing. >> to be postracial, above race. >> such a thing is impossible today. >> which is why it drives people nuts. he said it's a part of the vicious reaction because he's different. every time he talks about race, it puts some people off because they feel accused. and every time he speaks about it people feel accused. >> that's what happened after trayvon martin. >> right, but now he's freed from the burden of re-election. he can dive in. this is a president who doesn't
want his presidency to end without having left that imprint on young black men. >> i will say as we wrap up, joy, i sensed catharsis when he finally talked about trayvon martin. you know, to reveal that anecdote about, you know, women clutching their purses as he walked by or car doors locking as he walked by i think was a moment of pure honesty from this president in the same way. he spoke for almost 30 minutes just then. he was turning to the audience. it felt incredibly intimate. it's very clear that he cares very deeply about this. >> absolutely. he believes this 100%. he kept turning to look at the young men behind him. he understands you can get to be president of the united states but still getting followed around in a store. you can do everything he said and still get pulled over by police and unfairly arrested and thrown on the ground in front of your mercedes because people think you stole it. he understands it. he's decided this is his message, get behind it is where it's going, and people who who hate the respectability politics, sorry, he's going to keep doing it p.
>> the host of the fabulous "reid" report. thanks. coming up, time for e-mail traffic problems for trenton. the bridgegate distribution list unredacted. we'll have the latest from the inboxes of former christie aides bridget kelly and bill stepien ahead. first, happy fifth birthday, tea party. you are officially ready to start kindergarten. [ amy ] there once was a mother who could not unwind.
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in washington, d.c.? there was michele bachmann issuing dire warnings about the rise of china. >> the world with china as the economic and super power militarily of the world does not -- does not forsake to each of us, does not make safe to each one of us -- >> it does not make safe to each one of us, nor does it make sense to each one of us. what does make sense and make safe is surrounding the capitol like a human doughnut. at least according to steve king. >> the largest uprising of people i have seen in my lifetime, and that was you. it wasn't a demonstration here or there. you circled the capitol. you were six and eight deep like a huge human doughnut. >> give the huge human doughnut liberty or give it a huge human cup of coffee. but it was the afternoon session that was reserved for those at the tiptop of the tea party food chain. senators mike lee, rand paul, and ted cruz. and they had a message about
where the tea party and the rest of the party goes from here. >> that gap, that ghost right now is evident. and the hole inside the republican party is i believe exactly the size and the shape of a conservative reform agenda. >> our message has to be a happy message, one of optimism, one of inclusiveness, one of growth, one of a message that actual ly brings up the poor among us, the long-term unemployed and finds them job. >> i am hopeful, i am optimistic, i am filled with the promise that we're going to turn this country around because there is a grassroots revolution sweeping this country. >> this grassroots revolution sponsored by the heritage foundation. joining me now is the washington bureau chief for buzz feed john stanton and from capitol hill nbc's casey hunt. john, you were covering this fiesta earlier today and tell us, if you will, what exactly the tea party is proposing to do
on this fifth-year anniversary or at least what they were focused on in a substantive fashion if, in fact, they were focused on anything in a substantive fashion. >> aside from liberty? >> liberty talk for hours and hours and hours. >> a lot of talk about liberty. no, honestly, i think that's one of the big problems right now is they don't have a unifying agenda. there's no person who's stepped forward and taken it by the reins. you know, when they came out initially, it was obamacare that really was pushing them forward. they really rallied around that. now they don't have that so much. today only ted cruz spoke substantively about the need to repeal obamacare. everybody else was sort of all over the map from, you know, china to western civilization and the need to defend that to, you know, sort of looking back fondly what they'd done to rand paul randomly asking them to be nice to the president and not call him names, which didn't seem to go over very well. so they are very much at a crossroads i think right now. they don't have a thing that's
pushing them forward. >> casey, as bereft of ideas as the tea party may seem, the reality is they could wield fairly large influence on at least the republican party this primary season. if you look down the list, many if not most of republican leadership has tea party challengers. mitch mcconnell, of course john cornyn, lindsey graham, john boehner is being challenged by a tea partyer named j.d. winteregg, which has to be the best name in this primary season thus far. how worried -- i mean, give us a sense of the dynamics of capitol hill right now. how worried is the establishment about the the tea party this midterm season? >> the big difference is between people who have been worrying about it for the last year and people who have just woken up to the fact that it is something that they have to worry about. somebody mitch mcconnell, he's been preparing for a tea party challenger for months.
they wanted to make sure he was not vulnerable. that was a mistake some senators made in past election cycles, one of the senators in utah, mike lee, made that mistake of not realizing the tea party threat was legitimate. but you have republican senators in other state who is haven't been as prepared, haven't been raising money, haven't been on the air. thad cochran in mississippi is one example. pat roberts in kansas could potentially have faced some trouble after it was sort of revealed that he doesn't actually live full-time in his home state. he's been challenged by -- >> a minor point. >> right, that is of particular grievance to the tea party, who are looking for politicians who don't seem like politicians. that's a move for -- these guys come across as the pa tigs sort of old era. they came in at a time that it was okay to move the washington, you took your family with you, it was considered an honorable way, a place to be, and that's not what these people are looking for at this point. >> you know, john, if we talk
about the new wave, ted cruz would be one of the key figures in that new wave of people who are in governance who hate the actual art of governance. and you said -- you mentioned that rand paul had a more conciliatory message, which i'm assuming that's being -- that's sort of a broadcast to the national media and more of rand paul's efforts to kind of step into a sort of statesmanlike position ahead of a potential 2016 bid. what was ted cruz saying? and he made apparently -- he's not making an ironclad promise to stay out of the primaries, given the hijinks that ensued a few weeks ago over the extension of the debt ceiling, the fact he put mitch mcconnell and john cornyn in uncomfortable positions. how long is it before, you know, someone finds his shoo-in ted cruz's back? >> it's funny, cruz has been increasingly open about the fact he's not willing to continue to play by the rules in the senate.
last fall he sort of agreed not to help raise money for the senators conservative fund, for instance. now he's raising money for the madison group, which is going against people like mitch mcconnell and some of his colleagues in the senate. he seems to be okay with this, has come to terms with the fact people around him don't like him a lot. he wears it as a badge of honor. he down plays how bad it is, but he no longer tries to hide the fact this is happening. >> that he's basically the most hated person on capitol hill even amongst members of his own party. kayc kasie, we were talking about the notion of what mike lee said, the whole of the republican party is the exact size of a conservative reform agenda. nobody's actually proposing any policy for the rest of the year. is that correct? effectively they came out with a
tax reform package and the members of his own party said no way, no how, not going to happen. >> tax reform was basically dead before arrival. there are some questions about whether or not the house can even move forward on an alternative obamacare vote. the tea party has been able to exist in this world where they are opposed to something that's sort of standing up in front of them. if they actually retake the senate in the fall, they're really going to have to take a hard look at what are they going to propose going forward. >> in opposition space, no one can hear you scream. john stanton and kasie hunt, thanks for your time. >> thanks, alex. coming up, time for some delayed flights to tel aviv. new e-mails from christie land next. but first, morgan brennan has the ""cnbc market wrap."" >> the s&p a record high today.
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new revelations today in bridgegate. newly unredetectived e-mail and text message exchanges. wildstein and bridget kelly exchanged disparaging texts about a new jersey rabbi named mendy carlback. after sending kelly this image of rabbi with house speaker john boehner, wildstein wrote, he has officially pissex-d me off, to
which kelly responded, "clearly." she added, "we cannot cause traffic problems in front of his house, can we?" flights to tel aviv all mysteriously delayed, wildstein shot back. perfect, wrote kelly. time for some traffic problems for the rabbi. what did the rabbi ever do? he happens to be a close friend of governor christie and traveled with him to israel in 2012. he served as the chaplain at the republican national convention that year and is also the chaplain for the port authority. asked why he might be the target of such snark, the rab rye bye told the bergen record, i have totally no idea. i don't understand it. none of it makes any sense. join the club, rabbi. the newly unredacted documents also reveal efforts made by wildstein and his deputy, bill baroni, to prevent certain new jersey democrats from attending a q&a session back in november. referencing loretta weinberg and john wisniewski, the two democrats now leading the
bridgegate investigation, wildstein wrote, do we let weinberg and whiz attend? can we stop them? baroni responded, how do we stop them? it just creates an issue. perhaps the most revealing exchanges involve former christie campaign manager bill stepien. october 1st of last year an e-mail was published in "the wall street journal." it was september by the executive director of the port authority, patrick foye, who was appointed by andrew cuomo. in the e-mail foye called the bridge lane closures abusive and suggested they violated federal law. today with this new trove of e-mails we have learned that that same day, ok 1st, 2013, bill stepien wrote to david wildstein about patrick foye, and he said, "holy" something or other. "who does foye think he is, captain america?" to which wildstein responded, "bad guy. welcome to our world." and what a welcome it was. joining me now is nbc news
national investigative correspondent michael isikoff. michael, you know, i don't know that there is that -- anything that ties chris christie to bridgegate in any of these, but what is apparent is that there was a culture, a short hand for enemies and punishment that was used frequently or comfortably by members of christie's inner circle. >> exactly. this kind of varies from the sort of sinister to perhaps more juvenile. in fact, that's the word that some women wisniewski used today in describing this that just shows the sort of cavalier juvenile attitude that bridget kelly and david wildstein seemed to have. i mean, the timing is interesting when -- that august 19th e-mail about traffic problems in front of the rabbi's house sort of echos the language just six days earlier when she wrote the infamous time for some
traffic problems in ft. lee e-mail. so she does seem to have a fixation on creating traffic problems. but, you know, to be fair, none of this really sheds a whole lot of light on the core issues here of the use of government power for political retribution by creating traffic problems. >> the refrain, time for some traffic problems for -- insert name here -- certainly does suggest this is something -- i mean, they were effectively speaking in some sort of shorthand, which i think -- i mean, is fairly surprising, i don't know that it's criminal necessarily. do we know anything about why the good rabbi was targeted in all of this? >> and, look, he says no. he has no idea. and he's baffled by this. there's certainly nothing in the e-mails which explains why they're ticked off at the rabbi or why wildstein was.
you know, this could be some personal thing that has absolutely no relation to government for all we know. but, look, these and so many other questions can't be answered until we hear the testimony from wildstein, kelly, and stepien. and as we've discussed before, that seems a very long time away given the fifth amendment fight that's going to be played out in court next week. i mean, not next week but -- >> march 11th. >> in march, march 11th, when this there's a court hearing on the claim of fifth amendment privilege just on the documents. so we may have a long way to go before we get any answers on this. >> michael, were you surprised at the vitriol directed towards patrick foye, the whole captain america comment? because he was effectively calling them out on something they may have been doing, which was wrong, which was not good for the commuters of new jersey who were speaking ing seeking york.
>> actually, that exchange had been disclosed before. we just didn't know who said what. now we know it was stepien who used the captain america line. but, look, i mean, foye is an appointee of governor cuomo in new york, a democrat, the way these things break down in the port authority. the chairman goes to new jersey, the executive director goes to the -- goes to new york, new york is the democratic governor, and there had been tensions -- aside from democratic/republican tensions, i think the normal new york to new jersey tensions. i just want to mention one other thing that was supposed to take place today, which is that the chief counsel for the legislative committee was interviewing the ft. lee mayor behind closed doors. this is the fact-gathering session of the inquiry. and that probably is more significant than any of these in particular e-mails at this point. >> we await the readout on mark
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laugh lines. but behind the biden yuck fest lies a man profoundly aware of his legacy. >> i want my legacy to be what i signed on for. a vice president has no inherent power. it's all reflective power. it all depends on the relationship with the president of the united states. >> that relationship and the vice president's diminished role is examined in a new politico magazine feature, "joe biden in winter." as glen thrush write, "for the vice president, a man who's always covet eed the ultimate seat of power, past couple years have been a struggle for both relevance and leverage." biden was once seen as the administration's reliable fixer, took on the jobs the president didn't want, could broker last-minute deals in congress, but lately the veep has seen himself iced out, sidelined in the most recent budget fights by majority leader harry reid and seen his greatest strength, foreign policy, come under fire from former administration
officials. in "duty," bob gates infamously wrote, "i think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades." the biden injustices do not end there. thrush reports during the 2012 campaign, biden was effectively muzzled by president obama's advisers. the tension first boiled over in may of that year after biden turned the page of history a little too quickly for the white house. >> i am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual -- men and women are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. and quite frankly, i don't see much of a distinction. >> obama's aides never forgave the vice president and the west wing became a very lonely place. these days delaware joe is forced to suffer the further indignity of having to watch the entire democratic machine unite behind hillary clinton even as he, a sitting vice president,
considers running. as a member of president obama's inner circle concludes, "biden is in a predicament. it's so big it's almost literary. never in his entire life has this man been better positioned to get the thing he most wants -- the presidency. he's climbed almost all the way to the top and, guess what, somebody moved the ladder. how would you deal with that?" joining me now is senior writer for politico magazine glen thrush. always a joy to have you on the show. no one bringses me more joy -- well, many people bring me more joy, but i love talking act vice president biden. >> me too. >> i have to say every time i read of a biden profile it makes me sad. i feel bad for the guy. and i wonder how times done changed so quickly that this man no longer has eve an shot, if you talk to most democratic insiders, of actually running for president. but the injustices and indignities are not just the question of candidacy.
i'll read -- i thought this was fairly shocking that the vice president in 2012 wanted to make a couple campaign stops to meet some donors, go to battleground state where is blue-collar voters might like him in particular, and david playoff, the president's senior adviser, said we can't have people going off doing things on their own. everything has to be part of the larger plan. biden fumed, you write, but he swallowed the indignity. that had to have hurt. >> the other thing the obama folks did, jim messina, then campaign manager and plouf, denied him the right to cree yit a first-class political team. apart from the money and publicity, one of the things that will be a challenge for biden if he decides to run -- and my sense is that personally he does -- is the fact that hillary is vacuuming up all the talent. he tried to hire a close aide to michael bloomberg. that was rejected out of hand by the west wing. then he tried to bring in steve
richetti, a guy known for his savvy. that was vetoed. finally biden had to go directly to obama and said, look, man, if you want me to do this job in twel, you have to let me have your own people. and even then the president said, look, you can have them as long as he and you stay in your lanes. >> to me that is sad that he has been denied even a fighting chance here. i also am sad, i don't think sad needs necessarily to be the organizing principle here, but, you know, i think political reporters are inherently nostalgic for times gone by. >> right. >> but biden is very much a figure caught in a crossroads with sort of the old democratic politics and new democratic politics or old politics in general and -- >> exactly. alex, that was one of the striking things. when you speak to the obama folks, they say this is a guy who is ruled by his gut. he feels like he has hiss finger
on the pulse and he would go to the obama people throughout 2012 and say this local leader said this, this is what i picked up in a union hall in wisconsin, and they'd say that doesn't jive with our metric. he's a bones mccoy living in a mr. spock world. >> it's true. i refer back to john heilman's great profile of him in september of 2012 before the election and he said of biden, "his old-school m.o. makes him almost uniquely unsuited to this postmodern media moment that pines for authenticity then punishes it crewly. his incapacity for phoniness and gree jous inability to control his yap, his guile and also renlder him a human ied." i think it's fairly unfair if you will that the obama white house seems to hold him accountable for the -- he is accountable -- for the gay marriage -- the move towards supporting marriage equality. they were going to come out for this anyway, so why do they
continue to punish him? >> i think that's faded a little bit, but by the way i should tell you at the time when we were reporting this, you were hearing from a lot of people in the west wing, obama staffers, that they were happy that the vice president went out and said this. and by the way, h.u.d. secretary shean donovan was the first to come out of the box and arne duncan, one of the president's best friends, seconded it, and biden was the third guy to say this. obviously biden got more ink on that. but there were a lot of people in the west wing at that time who were quietly rooting for biden. unfortunately for biden, david, jim messina and david axelrod for not those guys. one more question looking towards the future. we talked ad nauseam about the president's relationship with former secretary of state clinton. you also talk about the relationship that biden had/has with hillary. but in the early days he would host for clinton regular tuesday breakfasts served as what you call hillary's obama whisperer.
tell us more about that period. >> well, they'd sit there in front of the big-screen tv in biden's naval observatory salon and they'd, you know, eat kettle potato chips and turkey paninis, and he would tell her how he got over their -- how he got over his initial discomfort with obama who's a tough guy to read and a tough guy to warm um to, and she took notes. but a really important thing happened there from the biden side. he got a real sense from her -- and this is really one of the striking things. he believes that she doesn't want to go through this ordeal in her heart of hears in 2016, that she also doesn't want to go back into what she's called kind of, you know, the white marble prison of the white house. so in these interactions, she got some intel about obama and he got some intel about what he believes is her reluctance to run in 2016. we'll see if that works out. >> joe biden's truth serum, kettle chips and turkey paninis. that is my favorite thing that
has happened in this segment. politico magazine's glen thrush, thanks. congrats on the story. >> thank you. >> that is all for now. see you back here tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. eastern. "the ed show" is up next. good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show" live from new york. let's get to work. >> the keystone pipeline today. >> if we welcome the u.s. state department's report. >> even the study they put out paves the way for keystone. >> keystone xl would not have a significant environmental impact. >> complex. you think the keystone pipeline is complex? >> goodness gracious. >> approval of the keystone xl pipeline is not in the national interest. >> obviously, this is an issue where there are strongly felt opinions on all sides. >> it's been understudied for five years. we build pipelines